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Full text of "My country and my people"

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WOMAN'S  LIFE                          145
hood and bearing and rearing children were not despised by society or by the women themselves. A mother seems to fit in with her position, a very highly honoured position, in the family. To bring a child into the world and lead him and guide him with her mother's wisdom into manhood is enough work for any human being in a sane-minded society. Why she should be regarded as "dependent3s on man, either socially or economically, because she can do this noble work, and do it better than man, is a notion that is difficult to grasp. There are talented women, as there are talented men, but their number is actually less than democracy would have us believe. For these women, self-expression has a more important meaning than just bearing children. But for the common people, whose number is legion, let the men earn bread to feed the family, and let the women bear children. As for their self-expression, I have seen selfish, mean little wights blossom forth into gentle, all-loving and self-sacrificing mothers, who are models of perfection and virtue in their children's eyes. I have also seen beautiful girls who do not marry and who shrivel up in their thirties and never reach that second period of woman's beautys glorious like the autumn forest, more mature, more human, and more radiant, best seen in a happy wife three months after her confinement.
Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother. Confucius spoke of the ideal society as the one in which there were "no unmarried men or women," and this, in China, has been achieved through a different conception of romance and marriage. In Chinese eyes the great sin of Western society is the large number of unmarried women, who, through no fault of their own except the foolish belief in such a real being as Prince Charming, are unable to express themselves. Many qf them are great as teachers or actresses, but they would be still greater as mothers* By falling in love and marrying perhaps an unworthy husband, a woman may fall into nature's trap, whose sole concern is for her to propagate the race, but she also may be rewarded by nature with a curly-headed child, her triumph and her delight, more surprising than the greatest book she has ever written and saturating her with more real happiness than the moment of her greatest triumph on the